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On the petition requesting the interpretation of a ruling of the Constitutional Court

Case No. 16/98

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF

THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

D e c I s I o n

 

On the construction of the 21 December 1999 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania

 

Vilnius, 12 January 2000

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Egidijus Kūris, Zigmas Levickis, Augustinas Normantas, Vladas Pavilonis, Jonas Prapiestis, Vytautas Sinkevičius, Stasys Stačiokas, and Teodora Staugaitienė

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Seimas member Česlovas Juršėnas, acting as the representative of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Jurgis Orlauskas, a senior consultant to the Law Department of the Office of the Seimas, acting as the representative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, on 10 January 2000, in the hearing of the Constitutional Court, investigated the request of the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and that of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the construction of certain provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 1999.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

On 21 December 1999, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of Articles 14, 251, 26, 30, 33, 34, 36, 40, 51, 56, 58, 59, 66, 69, 691, and 73 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” (hereinafter referred to as the Ruling).

The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania V. Greičius and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania G. Balčiūnas, invoking Paragraph 1 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, request the construction of certain provisions of the Ruling.

II

In his request of 5 January 2000, the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of the following:

1. Do the statements of Item 10 of Section IV of the statement part and those Item 6 of the operative part of the Ruling by which it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 58 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts (hereinafter referred to as the Law) to the extent that the proposal of the Minister of Justice regarding appointment of judges to the Court of Honour of Judges is provided for contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution mean that the present Court of Honour of Judges which was formed prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court may continue its functions in its full composition?

2. Are the provisions of Item 11 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 7 of the operative part by which it is recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Law to the extent that a disciplinary action against the president of a local or regional court and the Court of Appeal, their deputies, division chairpersons and other judges may be instituted by the Minister of Justice on the proposal of the Director of the Department of Courts or on his own initiative and that the judge against whom a disciplinary action has been instituted may be removed from office on the proposal of the Minister of Justice until the outcome of the case becomes clear contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 5 of Article 112 of the Constitution also applicable to the disciplinary cases instituted by the Minister of Justice prior to the Constitutional Court ruling in question and where decisions are still pending?

3. Do the provisions regarding the material-technical supply of courts of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part of the Ruling wherein it is asserted that the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court, those of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 8 of the operative part wherein it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law to the extent that the competence of the Minister of Justice to arrange for the financial supply of local and regional courts and the Court of Appeal is established contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution mean that the finances allocated to every particular court, with the exception of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, should be accumulated in the Ministry of Justice and later redistributed to every particular court according to the assignations established to it in the State budget, or are the finances provided for every particular court by an individual clause in the budget to be allocated to the court directly, i.e. not through the Ministry of Justice?

4. Is the conclusion of Item 5 of the operative part of the Ruling by which it is recognised that Paragraph 3 of Article 51 of the Law to the extent that a judge of a local or regional court, that of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Lithuania, in case he agrees, may, by means of a decree of the President of the Republic, be delegated for the term of up to one year to the structures of the Ministry of Justice or those of the Department of Courts and that for the term of the delegation the powers of the delegated judge shall be suspended contradicts Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution also applicable to the persons who were delegated prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court at issue? Does the said conclusion of the Constitutional Court terminate the delegation, is the termination of the term of office of the delegation which began prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court at issue possible, and could this be judged to be a breach of the oath of a judge?

5. Does the statement “any attempts to reduce the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge or cut the budget of the judiciary are interpreted as infringement on the judicial independence” (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 December 1995 is quoted) of Paragraph 6 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the Ruling mean that any attempts to reduce this remuneration or other social guarantees contradict the principle of the independence of judges and courts established in Article 109 of the Constitution, i.e. regardless of the fact on what reasoning and by what form one intends to do so? Does the statement “any attempts to reduce <…> are interpreted as infringement” mean an imperative prohibition on any reduction, and does this prohibition include limitations on judges’ remuneration and their social guarantees based on any reasoning and provided for by any normative acts? If so, then what legal effects would the normative acts have, if passed by the Government or the Seimas, which would contradict the sentences of the statement part of the ruling of the Constitutional Court and by which the independence of judges and courts would be violated, for example, judges’ remuneration would be reduced etc.?

6. Does the concept “judges’ remuneration” employed in the statement “judges’ remuneration must not be reduced during his or her judicial service” in Paragraph 5 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the Ruling mean only the positional salary (only a constituent part of remuneration for work), or does it presume all the payments established by the State (regardless of how they are referred to in the normative acts) which the person receives in connection with his office of a judge, i.e. does the concept “judges’ remuneration” include the positional salary defined on the grounds of certain criteria (stable norm and coefficient), as well as its increase and additional pay for employment period? Does such a provision mean that the existing social guarantees and remuneration of judges may not be reduced irrespective of the fact by means of the acts of which branch of power—the legislature or the executive—these social guarantees, including remuneration, have been established?

III

In his request of 6 December 2000, the Minister of Justice requests the construction of whether the Minister of Justice could, in an attempt to ensure even development of the whole judicial system, accomplish his duty to arrange for the material-technical supply to local and regional courts and the Court of Appeal through the financing of an individual programme of arrangement for the material-technical supply of courts which is approved by the Republic of Lithuania’s Budget Law, at the same time being the administrator of the financial assignations for the implementation of this programme. Under this programme, the funds would be allocated for the construction of court buildings or their acquisition, and the funds for special expenses for the creation of computer systems of courts, purchase of office equipment, etc., would be provided for.

The Minister of Justice also requests the construction of whether the Minister of Justice could, in an attempt to prepare a draft State budget, demand the data concerning the needs of courts from respective presidents of courts which are necessary in order to prepare a draft State budget and which are linked with the financing of courts.

IV

In the court hearing both the representatives of the parties to the case Č. Juršėnas, the representative of a group of Seimas members, and J. Orlauskas, the representative of the Seimas, noted that the requests of the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and the Minister of Justice are important as the construction of the Ruling will help to ensure an effective functioning of the judicial system and the independence of judges and courts.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, laws (or parts thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or any other acts (or parts thereof) of the Seimas, acts of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, and acts (or parts thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 72 Consequences of the Recognition of a Legal Act as Being Contradictory to the Constitution of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that laws of the Republic of Lithuania (or a part thereof) or other Seimas acts (or a part thereof), acts of the President of the Republic, or acts of the Government (or a part thereof) shall not be applicable from the day that a Constitutional Court ruling that the appropriate act (or a part thereof) contradicts the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania is officially published. The same consequences shall arise when the Constitutional Court adopts a ruling that an act of the President of the Republic or act of the Government (or a part thereof) is in contradiction with laws. Rulings adopted by the Constitutional Court shall have the power of law and shall be binding on all governmental institutions, companies, firms, and organisations as well as to officials and citizens. All governmental institutions as well as their officials must revoke substatutory acts or provisions thereof which they have adopted and which are based on an act which has been ruled unconstitutional. Decisions based on legal acts which have been ruled being contradictory to the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they have not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling became effective. The power of the Constitutional Court to rule a legal act or part thereof to be unconstitutional may not be overruled by a repeated adoption of a like legal act or part thereof.

The Constitutional Court notes that that a ruling of the Constitutional Court constitutes a whole. Its operative part is based on the arguments of the statement part. Construing its ruling, therefore, the Constitutional Court is bound by both the content of the operative part and that of the statement part. A decision adopted in connection with the construction of a ruling of the Constitutional Court is inseparable from the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

2.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the statements of Item 10 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 6 of the operative part of the Ruling by which it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 58 of the Law to the extent that the proposal of the Minister of Justice regarding appointment of judges to the Court of Honour of Judges is provided for contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution mean that the present Court of Honour of Judges which was formed prior to the Constitutional Court ruling in question may continue its functions in its full composition.

2.2. The Constitutional Court notes that the norm of a law contradicting the Constitution shall not be applicable from the day that a Constitutional Court respective ruling is officially published. It is pointed out in the request of the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania that the Court of Honour of Judges which is composed of the judges appointed on the proposal of the Minister of Justice was formed prior to the official publication of the Constitutional Court ruling.

All the judges of the Court of Honour of Judges were appointed in pursuance of the Law which was then in force. Submitting proposals regarding appointment of judges to the Court of Honour of Judges, the Minister of Justice was implementing his powers which were provided for in the Law. The proposal of the Minister of Justice regarding appointment of individual persons to the Court of Honour of Judges is an act of application of the legal norm.

Upon application of the norm of Paragraph 2 of Article 58 of the Law, there appeared new legal relations linked with accomplishment of the functions of judges of the Court of Honour of Judges and which continue now. Therefore, upon the official publication of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, the powers of the judges of the Court of Honour of Judges who have been appointed on the proposal of the Minister of Justice do not terminate of their own accord.

3.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the provisions of Item 11 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 7 of the operative part of the Ruling by which it is recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Law to the extent that a disciplinary action against the president of a local or regional court and the Court of Appeal, their deputies, division chairpersons and other judges may be instituted by the Minister of Justice on the proposal of the Director of the Department of Courts or on his own initiative and that the judge against whom a disciplinary action has been instituted may be removed from office on the proposal of the Minister of Justice until the outcome of the case becomes clear contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 5 of Article 112 of the Constitution are also applicable to the disciplinary cases instituted by the Minister of Justice prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court and where decisions are still pending.

3.2. Under the Law the Minister of Justice had been entitled to institute a disciplinary action against the president of a local and regional court and the Court of Appeal, their deputies, division chairpersons and other judges before the Constitutional Court ruling was officially published. After the recognition that the said norms of the Law contradict Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 5 of Article 112 of the Constitution, the Minister of Justice may no longer implement the powers established in Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Law. The institution of a disciplinary action is an act of application of a legal norm. The Minister of Justice instituted disciplinary actions against the judges under the Law which was then in force. Upon the application of the said legal norm, there appeared other legal relations, i.e. the relations linked with the investigation of these cases and the adoption of a decision. Therefore, the official publication of the Ruling in itself does not create any basis for dismissing the disciplinary cases instituted against the judges only due to the fact that they were instituted by the Minister of Justice.

4.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the provisions regarding the material-technical supply of courts of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part of the Ruling wherein it is asserted that the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court, those of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 8 of the operative part wherein it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law to the extent that the competence of the Minister of Justice to arrange for the financial supply of local and regional courts and the Court of Appeal is established contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution mean that the finances allocated to every particular court, with the exception of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, should be accumulated in the Ministry of Justice and later redistributed to every particular court according to the assignations established to it in the State budget, or whether the finances provided for every particular court by an individual clause in the budget should be allocated to the court directly, i.e. not through the Ministry of Justice.

The Minister of Justice requests the construction of whether the Minister of Justice could, in an attempt to ensure even development of the overall judicial system, accomplish his duty to arrange for the material-technical supply to local and regional courts and the Court of Appeal through the financing of an individual programme of arrangement for the material-technical supply of courts which is approved by the Republic of Lithuania’s Budget Law, at the same time being the administrator of the financial assignations for the implementation of this programme. Under this programme, the funds would be allocated for the construction of court buildings or their acquisition, and the funds for special expenses for the creation of computer systems of courts, purchase of office equipment, etc., would be provided for. The Minister of Justice also requests the construction of whether the Minister of Justice could, in an attempt to prepare a draft State budget, demand the data from presidents of courts which are necessary in order to prepare a draft State budget and which are linked with the financing of courts.

4.2. In its Ruling the Constitutional Court held that “the principle of independence of courts also includes the independent financing of courts from the executive. This principle may be secured by providing in laws that the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court so that proper conditions might be created for administration of justice”.

The said provisions of the Ruling mean that in the State budget assignations must be provided for every individual court. These finances must be allocated to every individual court directly and not through the Ministry of Justice. The provision of the Ruling by which the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court also mean that the Minister (Ministry) of Justice is not an administrator of the assignations allocated to courts, therefore, he may not determine as to how the finances of the State budget allocated to courts should be used.

4.3. The provision of the Ruling by which the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court does not mean that one may not establish in the State budget as to how much finances are allocated to concrete supply programmes for the whole judicial system.

The subjects, including the Minister of Justice, who will be indicated in a respective law may be administrators of the assignations provided for in the State budget for concrete supply programmes for the whole judicial system, however, these subjects may never administer the finances individually provided for every individual court in the State budget.

It was held in the Ruling that in the sphere of the arrangement for financial supply of courts the powers of the Minister of Justice regarding the preparation of a draft State budget and those concerning its discussion in the Seimas may be established as being within his competence. This provision of the Ruling pre-supposes the fact that the Minister of Justice, in an attempt to ensure that in a draft State budget sufficient finances were provided so that appropriate performance of courts might be guaranteed, has the right to get the data concerning the needs of courts from respective presidents of courts.

In its Ruling the Constitutional Court did not investigate the issue regarding the financing of the Court of Honour of Judges, therefore, it will not construe it in the present decision. Alongside, the Constitutional Court notes that an independent institution of judges established and acting on the basis of laws must in all cases be financed from the State budget.

5.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the conclusion of Item 5 of the operative part of the Ruling by which it is recognised that Paragraph 3 of Article 51 of the Law to the extent that a judge of a local or regional court, that of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Lithuania, in case he agrees, may, by means of a decree of the President of the Republic, be delegated for the term of up to one year to the structures of the Ministry of Justice or those of the Department of Courts and that for the term of the delegation the powers of the delegated judge shall be suspended contradicts Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution is also applicable to the persons who were delegated prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court at issue.

The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania also requests the construction of whether the said conclusion of the Constitutional Court terminates the delegation, whether the termination of the term of office of the delegation which began prior to the ruling of the Constitutional Court at issue is possible, and whether this could be judged to be a breach of the oath of a judge.

5.2. It has been mentioned in the present decision that under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, laws (or parts thereof) may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The judges pointed out in the request of the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania were delegated to the institutions of the executive pursuant to the norms of the Law which were in effect until the official publication of the Constitutional Court ruling. Paragraph 3 of Article 51 of the Law which was ruled to be contradicting the Constitution by the Ruling may no longer be applied after the official publication of the Constitutional Court ruling. Thus, the judges were delegated to the structures of the Ministry of Justice or those of the Department of Courts pursuant to the norms of the Law which were then in effect. Under the Law, the judges were delegated to the institutions of the executive for up to one year. The delegation of a person for work in the structures of the Ministry of Justice or those of the Department of Courts is an act of the application of the legal norm.

However, in the case indicated by the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, one has to take account of the fact that after the recognition by the Constitutional Court ruling that the paragraph of the article of the Law providing for the delegation of a judge to the institutions of the executive as contradicting the Constitution, any further work of the delegated judge at the Ministry of Justice or the Department of Courts is not in line with Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution and the status of judges provided for in the Constitution.

6.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the statement “any attempts to reduce the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge or cut the budget of the judiciary are interpreted as infringement on the judicial independence” (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 December 1995 is quoted) of Paragraph 6 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the Ruling means that any attempts to reduce this remuneration or other social guarantees contradict the principle of the independence of judges and courts established in Article 109 of the Constitution, i.e. regardless of the fact on what reasoning and by what form one intends to do so.

He also requests the construction of whether the statement “any attempts to reduce <…> are interpreted as infringement” means an imperative prohibition on any reduction, and whether this prohibition includes limitations on judges’ remuneration and their social guarantees based on any reasoning and provided for by any normative acts. If so, then what legal effects the normative acts would have, if passed by the Government or the Seimas, which would contradict the sentences of the statement part of the ruling of the Constitutional Court and by which the independence of judges and courts would be violated, for example, judges’ remuneration would be reduced etc.

6.2. Giving its interpretation of the constitutional principle of the independence of judges and courts in the Ruling, the Constitutional Court held that the protection of remuneration of judges and their other social guarantees is one of the guarantees of the ensuring of this principle. Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution provides that, while administering justice, judges and courts shall be independent. It was held in the Ruling that any attempts to reduce the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge or cut the budget of the judiciary are interpreted as infringement on the judicial independence.

The said provision of the Ruling means that in an attempt to ensure the independence of judges and courts from the legislature and the executive any attempts to reduce the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge during his or her judicial service are prohibited. This is an imperative. In case it is violated, conditions are created to subject the judiciary to a political situation. The imperative character of this provision derives from the principle of the independence of judges and courts which is established in Article 109 of the Constitution, and from the imperative prohibition established in Article 113 of the Constitution by which judges are also not permitted during the professional career to receive any remuneration other than the remuneration established for judges as well as payment for educational, scientific, or creative activities. It also derives from the professional and not political nature of the judiciary, which was indicated in the Ruling.

It was held in the Ruling that the principle of independence of judges and courts is established in all the constitutions of democratic states and a number of international acts. The constitutional protection also includes the protection of the guarantees of social (material) nature of the independence of judges and courts. This is also confirmed by the constitutional jurisprudence of democratic states. For instance, by its decision of 18 September 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the measures imposing a limitation on judges’ remuneration which were applied to avoid the budget deficit to be contradicting the principle of the independence of courts, and, therefore, anti-constitutional; by its decision of 15 September 1999, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic ruled the legal provisions by which additional pay supplementing judges’ remuneration had been abolished to be anti-constitutional.

6.3. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of as to what legal effects the normative acts would have if passed by the Government or the Seimas which would contradict the sentences of the statement part of the ruling of the Constitutional Court and by which the independence of judges and courts would be violated.

The Constitutional Court notes that under Paragraph 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall decide whether the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas are in conformity with the Constitution and legal acts adopted by the President and the Government, do not violate the Constitution or laws. Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Constitution provides that any law or other statute which contradicts the Constitution shall be invalid.

The Constitutional Court does not decide as to what legal effects the legal acts which have not been adopted or which have not been investigated by the Constitutional Court might have.

Under Paragraph 2 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, rulings adopted by the Constitutional Court shall have the power of law and shall be binding on all governmental institutions, companies, firms, and organisations as well as to officials and citizens. This means that all subjects of law, including the legislature, are bound by the earlier passed rulings of the Constitutional Court, therefore, the principle of the independence of judges and courts as well as the guarantees of this principle may not be violated by any legal act.

7.1. The President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania requests the construction of whether the concept “judges’ remuneration” employed in the statement “judges’ remuneration must not be reduced during his or her judicial service” in Paragraph 5 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the Ruling mean only the positional salary (only a constituent part of remuneration for work), or whether it presumes all the payments established by the State (regardless of how they are referred to in the normative acts) which the person receives in connection with his office of a judge, i.e. whether the concept “judges’ remuneration” includes the positional salary defined on the grounds of certain criteria (stable norm and coefficient), as well as its increase and additional pay for employment period. He also requests the construction of whether such a provision means that the existing social guarantees and remuneration of judges may not be reduced irrespective of the fact by means of the acts of which branch of power—the legislature or the executive—these social guarantees, including remuneration, have been established.

7.2. The concept “remuneration of judges” employed in the Ruling includes all payments paid to a judge from the State budget.

The Constitutional Court held in the Ruling that the social guarantees for judges may not be reduced.

Conforming to Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

1. The provisions of Item 10 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 6 of the operative part of the 21 December 1999 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania by which it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 58 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts to the extent that the proposal of the Minister of Justice regarding appointment of judges to the Court of Honour of Judges is provided for contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania mean that upon the official publication of the 21 December 1999 ruling of the Constitutional Court, the powers of the judges of the Court of Honour of Judges who have been appointed on the proposal of the Minister of Justice do not terminate of their own accord.

2. The provisions of Item 11 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 7 of the operative part of the ruling of 21 December 1999 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania by which it is recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts to the extent that a disciplinary action against the president of a local or regional court and the Court of Appeal, their deputies, division chairpersons and other judges may be instituted by the Minister of Justice on the proposal of the Director of the Department of Courts or on his own initiative and that the judge against whom a disciplinary action has been instituted may be removed from office on the proposal of the Minister of Justice until the outcome of the case becomes clear contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 5 of Article 112 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania mean that that the official publication of the 21 December 1999 ruling of the Constitutional Court in itself does not create any basis for dismissing the disciplinary cases instituted against the judges only due to the fact that they were instituted by the Minister of Justice.

3. The provisions of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part of the ruling of 21 December 1999 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania wherein it is asserted that the State budget must provide as to how much finances should be allocated to every individual court, those of Item 12 of Section IV of the statement part and those of Item 8 of the operative part wherein it is recognised that Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts to the extent that the competence of the Minister of Justice to arrange for the financial supply of local and regional courts and the Court of Appeal is established contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania mean that the assignations provided for every individual court in the State budget must be allocated to every individual court directly and not through the Ministry of Justice, and that the Minister of Justice may not administer these finances, however, he, in case this is provided for in a law, may be the administrator of the assignations provided for in the State budget for supply programmes for the whole judicial system; this provision also means that the Minister of Justice, in the course of the preparation of a draft State budget, has the right to get the data concerning the needs of courts from respective presidents of courts.

4. Item 5 of the operative part of the ruling of 21 December 1999 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania by which it is recognised that Paragraph 3 of Article 51 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts to the extent that a judge of a local or regional court, that of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Lithuania, in case he agrees, may, by means of a decree of the President of the Republic, be delegated for the term of up to one year to the structures of the Ministry of Justice or those of the Department of Courts and that for the term of the delegation the powers of the delegated judge shall be suspended contradicts Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 109 and Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania means that after the recognition by the Constitutional Court ruling that the paragraph of the article of the Law on Courts providing for the delegation of a judge to the institutions of the executive was ruled to be contradicting the Constitution, any further work of the delegated judge at the Ministry of Justice or the Department of Courts is not in line with Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution and the status of judges provided for in the Constitution.

5. The statement “any attempts to reduce the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge or cut the budget of the judiciary are interpreted as infringement on the judicial independence” of Paragraph 6 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the 21 December 1999 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania means that any reduction of the remuneration or other social guarantees of a judge during his or her judicial service is prohibited.

6. The concept “judges’ remuneration” in the statement “judges’ remuneration must not be reduced during his or her judicial service” of Paragraph 5 of Item 7 of Section I of the statement part of the ruling of 21 December 1999 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania includes all payments paid to a judge from the State budget.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:

 

Egidijus Jarašiūnas     Egidijus Kūris     Zigmas Levickis

 

Augustinas Normantas      Vladas Pavilonis      Jonas Prapiestis

 

Vytautas Sinkevičius      Stasys Stačiokas      Teodora Staugaitienė